Another month, another double-digit jump in housing prices in South Sound counties.
February median sales prices for single-family homes and condominiums combined jumped 18.2 percent and 15.4 percent in Pierce and Thurston counties, respectively, from February 2020, according to figures released Thursday by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS). Pierce’s median was $455,000 and Thurston’s $420,000.
Lewis, Mason, and Grays Harbor counties posted median sales price increases of 15.1 percent, 25.1 percent, and 37.5 percent, respectively, with medians of $319,900, $344,000, and $275,000.
Looking at single-family homes only (excluding condos), median sales prices rose 17 percent and 15.3 percent in Pierce and Thurston counties last month, to $462,000 and $422,000, respectively. Inventory of homes for sale remained incredibly tight, at about two weeks supply in each county, fueling price pressure.
Single-family home median sales prices, excluding condos, in Lewis, Mason, and Grays Harbor counties rose 13.9 percent, 24.4 percent, and 35.7 percent, respectively, to $319,900, $342,000, and $285,000. Lewis had about a month of housing inventory at current sales trends, with the other two counties less than three weeks each.
Looking at condos only, median sales prices rose 18.9 percent in Pierce County. They dipped slightly — 0.8 percent — in Thurston County. Prices were $315,000 in Pierce and $216,950 in Thurston. There was about a month of inventory in Thurston and about three weeks in Pierce.
Lewis County didn’t post any condo sales in February, so no price data was available. In Mason County, the median sales price was $435,008 on one sale. In Grays Harbor, the median was $210,000, up 33.1 percent on eight sales.
“Like last year, before we knew what was just around the corner (with the pandemic), buyer demand is high,” NWMLS director John Deely, executive vice president of operations at Coldwell Banker Bain, said in NWMLS news release announcing February data for the 26-county NWMLS region. “There continues to be opportunities for buyers seeking condos, and median prices are more stable, so that’s also good news for buyers.”
But for single-family homes (excluding condos), he’s hearing more about multiple-offer situations.
“Our brokers are working hard to help prepare buyers both emotionally and financially for the realities they face, and to help position them as the winning purchaser,” Deely said. “With things opening up, and open house restrictions eased to allow more people at one time, brokers are also spending a good amount of time preparing their sellers to get comfortable with having people in their homes and to safely facilitate viewings, as well as managing and analyzing all the offers.”
Dean Rebhuhn, owner of Village Homes and Properties in Woodinville, also noted more multiple offers.
“Continuing low interest rates, jobs, and lifestyle changes are driving the real estate market,” he said in the release. “Prepared, aggressive buyers are winning the competition for homes. Smart buyers are making substantial offers to sellers prior to the offer review date, and sellers are considering them.”